Private Student Loan Programs
A private alternative loan is a non-federal loan obtained from a
lender, such as a bank or credit union. These types of loans have
variable interest rates, require a credit check, may require a
credit-worthy co-signer if you have no credit history or have had
credit problems in the past and do not provide the benefits of
federal student loans. Students are advised to exhaust all possible
Federal Student Aid options (including grants, loans and
work-study) before pursuing a private alternative loan. If you have
not filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you
should do so at www.fafsa.gov and list our school code,
003470, so that we can determine your eligibility for Federal
Student Aid (see Applying for Financial Aid). Whether you are borrowing a federal student loan or
private alternative loan, you should never borrow more than you
really need to cover direct costs (money paid to the school) or
indirect costs (money spent on living expenses) associated with
your attendance each school year.
Larger financial institutions offer private loan programs to
further assist students who are unable to obtain sufficient Federal
Student Aid in order to attend college. The following factors
should be considered when selecting a lender for a private
- Good borrower benefits
- Good customer service
- Personal prior business dealings with a lender
for other consumer loans
- Complaints, or lack thereof, to the State
Attorney Generals Office or the Better Business Bureau
- If important to you, life of loan servicing
(loan not sold to another lender or servicer)
Students are advised to compare their options and have a
thorough understanding of private loan programs before applying. On
February 14, 2010, "The Private Student Loan and Transparency Act"
went into effect which requires that lenders obtain disclosure
information and self-certification from borrowers prior to
disbursement. As a result, you should plan on 2 to 4 weeks of
processing time in order for you, the borrower, to comply with
these new requirements. Keep in mind that these requirements are
not mandated by the School of Mines, but by federal law.
The following list is provided for your information only and
shows the private alternative loan programs our students have used
over the past 3 academic years (2010-2011, 2011-2012 and
2012-2013). This list is in alphabetical order and does not reflect
any preference of one lender over another, nor is it an endorsement
of any of the lenders/loan programs listed. You are encouraged to
contact lenders and compare programs before selecting an
alternative loan lender/program whether they appear on this list or
not. For those we have been able to obtain so far, under each
lender's loan program is a link to their Truth In Lending Act
(TILA) disclosure. For those lenders without a disclosure link
provided, you will receive this information from the lender as part
of the application process.
- Alaska Supplemental Loan, an alternative loan program for Alaska residents.
- Baxter Credit Union Student Choice Loan, an alternative loan program for Baxter Credit Union members only.
- Dakota Education Alternative Loan (DEAL), a loan program for students from Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin or Wyoming.
- Discover Certified Private Loan
- cuScholar Private Student Loan (Credit Union Student Loans) | cuStudent Disclosure
- Genisys Credit Union Student Loan Program, an alternative loan program for Genisys Credit Union members only.
- iHelp Student Loan
- Minnesota SELF Loan Program, an alternative loan program for Minnesota residents.
- NASA Federal Credit Union Student Choice, an alternative loan program for NASA Federal Credit Union members only.
- Partnership Advance Education Loan, a loan program for Iowa residents.
- Sallie Mae Smart Option Loan | Sallie Mae Disclosure
- Star One Credit Union Student Choice Loan, an alternative loan program for Star One Credit Union members only.
- SunTrust Custom Choice Loan
- Union Federal Private Student Loan | Union Federal Disclosure
- Wells Fargo Alternative Loans TILA Disclosures